Why iCloud or any cloud?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by Coffee2go, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Coffee2go macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    I was a MobileMe user and I have not moved over to iCloud yet. My question is why do we all want to store our info on Apple servers? If the technology is available to have all of our information on Apple servers, why don't we just keep it all stored on a home computer that is always on and accessible? Is it because Apple has a committed team of programers backing up data that most people are too lazy or busy to do on their own? This question isn't just for iCloud, its for any cloud tech such as dropbox, amazon, google, etc.
  2. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    I'm assuming you're talking about more than just contact/calendar data. For me those two are no-brainers in terms of whether or not to use a cloud service to sync. Keeping that data synced across multiple devices in real time can be a hassle if you are syncing manually back to a computer. With a service like iCloud it is all done in the background and with no effort, so for those two I don't see any reason not to use the cloud.

    Now...for backups and documents.....then YMMV. The argument for using it is that you don't have to be tied down to a PC for your syncing needs. You can back everything up to iCloud (or whatever) and have a presumably safe copy out there all the time. Personally I like to have control over backups and things of that nature, so I still use iTunes to back up the iPhone and iPad. But we are moving to a world where having a PC is becoming less and less of a necessity for many people, so those folks are going to need a spot to house their data. The cloud is going to be as good a solution as any, but it definitely not one size fits all.
  3. Coffee2go thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    Now that I think about it, why have any of your data stored on any computer other than your own? even contacts, etc. Why should any of us use Apple's cloud? What I am suggesting, is that we all have our own clouds. If the tech is available to sync all of your devices to Apple/Google/Amazon's clouds, why not apply the same tech to sync to my iMac/Mac mini? If you have that hooked up to a backup hard drive, is it not the same as backing up to Apple/Google/Amazon servers? This of course would not help you in the event of a house fire or home burglary.

    I want to clarify that I am not downgrading the usefulness of the iCloud product. I just want find out why it is better to store my info on someone else's computer.
  4. mduchart macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2011
    I Cloud is a HUGE disapointment

    I was so eager to store and share my info from Mac pro, Ipad, Iphone's I went out and signed up for additional space on the cloud. Shame on me for not doing my homework.

    1. What good is photo Stream if it doesn't store what I want, just the last months worth of pics? and only the new pics once turned on. And let me get this straight...I don't have them backed up after 30 days? What happens if I lose the phone with a years pics on them?

    2. all my movies that I purchased on Itunes not on the cloud either. Another huge disappointment.

    3. outlook calander still not visible even though I sink my iphone with google calender and it shows up on my Iphone, but the cloud doesn't see it?

    4. only my music that i purchased on Itunes can be backed up, what good is that since 80% of my music is from CD's. and Itunes didn't back all my music up I purchased.

    Someone help me understand why this service is so good, and not from the Apple coolaid drinkers please.

    I wish I could get my $40 bucks back for this really lame service. I am now downloading all my photo's to Gmail again, where I can STORE 25G for $5 and see all of them past 30 days with labels and editing ability.

    Isn't the point of the cloud to store all data you want to back up? IE carbonite or similar? I thought that's what I was getting.

    Icloud is junk!:mad: until they allow all content to be stored and shared, now its just a contact backup and that's about it.:mad:
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Well one problem is your internet connection. You can set up your own "cloud" using a computer at your house to act as a cloud server (there are even functions in the server edition of OSX to do this, including pushing data to your iDevices as well), however, the speed of the data connection will be limited by your home internet connection. Most home internet connections (at least where I live, in the USA) are pretty poor, particularly on the upload speed. So downloading a large file from your home server might take a long time compared to what you would get going from an enterprise class setup like google/amazon. For syncing contacts this won't make a big deal, but using a cloud service as backup or for file access? It could be significant.

    Also, services will typically have superior uptime than your personal cloud. Again for personal usage it probably won't be as big a deal, but if your power goes out or your internet connection goes down while you're away, you could lose access to your cloud. And if it's an issue that requires physical attention, you might not be able to fix the issue if you're on vacation or on a business trip, etc. whereas Apple/amazon/google have staff at their server farms to fix problems as they arise.

    If you are interested in maintaining your own cloud though, there really is nothing stopping you. For most it's just not worth the time or money to figure out how to set one up, make it secure, and possibly invest in hardware/services to ensure it operates reliably. But it's definitely possible, and probably not as hard as many think it is (in fact I think OSX Server has made it a lot easier in recent iterations). There are also a lot of tools/resources available from the open source community for setting up a linux box that does this too.

    If you are not blessed with a high performance internet connection, you can always fork out more money to Comcast/Verizon/etc and get a business class internet hookup, with typically larger upload speed, static IP, etc. Also, your data cap likely gets raised. Finally, there are services like macminicoloco.com where you can pay a monthly fee to house your mac mini in their server room and utilize their reliable power and fat internet connection. I have actually become quite intrigued by this colocation service but for a casual single user it's not worth the montly fee (starting at about $30/mo I think) to operate.

    That all said, I do agree with your sentiment that there is no real reason to use someone else's cloud, particularly if your usage demands are not that high. And I too would probably enjoy the greater control and privacy of operating my own "cloud" (or at least cloud-like network service). I don't use iCloud (but do still use it as MM) nor do I back anything up on it, mainly for syncing contacts/calendars/bookmarks, etc. Actually the biggest benefit I like about mobileme is the Back to my mac feature, which lets me access all my computers from anywhere, in a secure and hassle-free fashion.

    Finally, there are some ready-made alternatives around too. For example I use a program called Synk, which in its latest version has a live syncing feature that sort of makes things operate like a cloud. I'll let their website describe the details but basically it works sort of like an independent cloud syncing service, and operates "point-to-point" between computers so there is no real cloud infrastructure involved. I use this to keep the documents folders of my home and work computers synced up. It works pretty slick actually, and even utilizes mobileme/icloud's back to my mac service so you can set it up on a laptop and get over-the-internet syncing no matter where you go. Anyway not trying to advertise but I have been a longtime user/fan of Synk and they have made some decent improvements with their latest version. http://decimus.net/Synk
  6. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    Same reason you do off site backups.....redundancy.
  7. Coffee2go thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    Ruahrc - I think you answered my question. I will check out Synk too.

    Thank you all for chiming in and helping me sort this out.

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